Tobener Ravenscroft

Forcing Your Landlord to Repair

What are a landlord’s responsibilities regarding repairs? A landlord must make a rental unit habitable both prior to and during a lease. The landlord is legally required to make all necessary repairs to ensure habitability throughout a tenancy. The case of Green v. Superior Court held that all residential rental agreements contain an implied warranty of habitability, which means regardless of what your lease says, your landlord has a duty to ensure the unit is livable, safe, and not in… Read More »

Landlord Harassment

California state law and local ordinances protect tenants against landlord harassment. Landlords cannot harass tenants out of their homes. It might be the landlord’s property, but it is the tenant’s home. Some landlords have a tough time understanding this. Proving Harassment Landlord harassment claims can sometimes be difficult to prove. It is important for tenants to be extremely diligent in notating each harassing event. Keep a log with dates and times. If possible, get statements from friends and neighbors, pictures,… Read More »

Landlord Nuisance

Nuisance Defined In a landlord-tenant context, a nuisance is the obstruction of the free use of rental property so as to interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life. CIVIL CODE § 3479. This has been routinely applied to property owners who fail to maintain residential rental units. Stoiber v. Honeychuck, 101 Cal. App. 3d 903, 920 (1980). To prove a claim for nuisance, a tenant must show (1) that the landlord leased the property; (2) that the landlord, in acting… Read More »

Landlord Caused Injuries

When can a landlord be held liable for a tenant’s personal injury? A tenant can recover for personal injuries caused by a landlord’s or property manager’s negligent care of property. To prove a claim for negligence, a tenant must show that (1) the landlord owed a duty to maintain the property; (2) the landlord negligently cared for the property; and (3) the landlord’s negligence caused the tenant’s personal injury. A landlord has a duty to maintain his property in a… Read More »

Failure to Prevent Crime

Liability of Landlord for Failure to Prevent Crime A landlord can be held liable for the criminal conduct of third parties, including other tenants. CACI 1005. Criminal conduct includes assault, battery, theft, burglary, arson, rape, murder, vandalism, and property damage. To prove a claim for landlord liability for the negligent or intentional criminal conduct of others, a tenant must show that the landlord (1) knew or should have known about potentially dangerous criminal activity and (2) failed to take reasonable… Read More »

Breaking a Lease

Tenants break or void long-term leases for two reasons. In the most common scenario, a tenant seeks to break a lease for personal reasons; for example, to move to another state. In a second scenario, the tenant must void the lease because the landlord has breached obligations under the lease by refusing to repair, failing to control neighboring tenants, or harassing tenants until they move.

Tenants with Disabilities

Understanding Your Rights as a Tenant with a Disability Covered Disabilities Disabled tenants are protected against housing discrimination by California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). FEHA defines disability broadly to include both physical and mental impairments, including:  HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, epilepsy, heart disease, and more. FEHA views disability as any condition that if left untreated limits a major life activity.

Resident Managers

When Managers Are Required Apartment buildings with sixteen or more units must have a resident manager. Resident Apartment Managers as Licensees To have tenant protections, a resident manager must be more than just an employee/licensee.  In rent-controlled jurisdictions, managers not considered tenants can be forced to leave when their employment is terminated.

Oakland Rent Control

Am I covered by Oakland Rent Control? The Oakland Residential Rent Adjustment Program applies to buildings with two or more units in Oakland that have a certificate of occupancy prior to January 1, 1983. However, the following units are not covered by the Oakland Rent Ordinance:

Berkeley Rent Control

What units are covered by the Berkeley Rent Control? The Berkeley Rent Stabilization and Eviction for Good Cause Ordinance has two separate protections that are best thought of as distinct:  rent increase limitations and just cause eviction protection, these are often referred to as Berkeley Rent Control. Some units in the City of Berkeley have eviction protection, but do not have limitations on rent increases.  Other units have both the eviction protection and the rent increase protection.  And, a few… Read More »

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